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A Holiday Gift for You! Free MP3 Download!

Happy Holidays! Here’s a small gift for you:

Download this Audio Free

20 Minute Power Nap

I like to call it my “20 Minute Power Nap”

Here’s the link. You can click to listen or right-click to download to your device.

Please enjoy this relaxing audio program when you have some time to relax. This simple program contains the soothing sounds of light rain embedded with a binaural beat pattern designed to coax you into a relaxed state of mind.

It helps to use headphones to get the full binaural beat affect. The “beat” affect is intended to induce brainwave entrainment which guides your mind to a state of relaxation. Try it and see how you like it. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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5 Tips Nobody Ever Told You About New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to improve yourself and your life. But they tend to have a big failure rate with most people abandoning their resolve by February. Ironically, the best way to sabotage your New Year’s resolutions is to call them resolutions. I’ll explain why in a minute. If you want your ‘resolutions’ to stick in 2012, this guide will show you how.

New Year’s Goals?

At any other time of the year, we’d call it a goal. For some reason, if you set a goal at the beginning of the year, it’s called a ‘resolution’. There one problem with these ‘resolutions’ we set at the beginning of the year. When we think of resolutions, we tend to focus on behavior change (‘spend more time with the kids’) rather than specific achievements (‘run a marathon’). Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that except that we have a tendency to be vague when we set goals to improve our behavior. When we say, ‘I resolve to exercise more’ or ‘I resolve to be a better friend’. It sounds good, but it’s not very concrete. Therefore, it would serve you well to start referring to them as “New Year’s Goals” instead (Although there’s a problem with the “New Year’s” part of that as well, which I’ll explain below.)

The Critical Success Factors

We all have a list of improvements we want to make in our lives. When the time comes to resolve to make those desires a reality, we have to consider what it is that will make us successful in that endeavor. Well, studies have shown that there are two factors that are most important in determining how successful you will be at achieving your goals:

  •  Your confidence in your ability to make the changes
  • Your level of commitment to achieving the goal

If you address these success factors, your ability to change your life in the New Year is increased. Therefore, the following list of tips were chosen specifically to help you address those two factors and help set you up for success.

1. Change The Way You Think

In order to change your behavior, you need to answer this question: “Why do I behave the way I do now?” Unless you address the root cause of what drives your behavior and choices, long-term change will be elusive. The truth is that it’s your thought habits, especially at the subconscious level, that determine most of your choices and your behavior. So, whatever your resolutions, make sure you give yourself the support you need to change the way you think. There are a variety of tools available to help you do just that. Here’s a list of our programs that are perennial New Year’s favorites. They employ the perfect blend of positive affirmations, guided meditation, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and subliminal messages – if you want long-term success, these programs will help you change the way you think.

(Click here for a list of favorite programs for the New Year)

2. Establish a Strong Commitment

Think beyond your goal and ask why you really want to achieve that goal. Ask yourself: What will I get if I succeed in this goal? Why do I want this? For example, one of our most frequently asked questions is “Do you have any programs to help me lose weight?” If that’s one of your goals, ask yourself why you really want to lose weight. It could be ‘I’ll be able to go running with my spouse again,’ or ‘I’ll save money on my life insurance premiums.”

Those are good reasons, but then take it to the next level.   What’s the benefit of those things? In this case, you might answer, ‘It will give me the opportunity to spend more time with my spouse, which is hard since we’ve been so busy lately and we’ve begun to grow apart,’ or ‘With the money I save I can start putting money away for my children’s education.’ Each level you go to, you’ll notice it gets more personal and more important. So, for each answer, again ask why. Go deeper and deeper into the why. As you dig deeper, you’ll discover your true motivation and inspiration. It’s at these deep levels that you’ll discover the commitment you need to succeed and to overcome any obstacle.

3. Don’t Do It All At Once

Another problem with the term ‘New Year’s resolution’ is it implies you only set goals at the beginning of the year. We all have improvements we’d like to make in our lives. But if you set all your ambitious goals at the beginning of the year, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

It’s important to find the time to address each of your goals. You’ll be more successful if you don’t ask too much of yourself at one time – especially if your goal requires persistence and will power. In fact, one study showed that even small incremental loads on the brain can significantly hinder the mind’s ability to stay focused on a goal and maintain willpower.

If you spread out your resolutions, it will improve your chances of success. For example, if you want to lose weight and get a new job, don’t do both at once. The stress of finding a new job will make it harder for you to stay on your diet.

4. Set The Right Goals

Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to set your goals. Take your time. Good goals should be something that’s important to you every day, not on one night. If you outline your goals and think about them for a few days, you’ll find some won’t seem as important as they did when you wrote them down. It’s also a good idea to collaborate. Talk to people who know you and get their opinion of the goals you are setting. Their perspective can help you think through what’s really important. This process will help you set goals you can confidently achieve.

5. Share Your Goals

Talk about your goals with people who will be supportive and hold you accountable. To make things easier, arrange a “nagging” schedule. It may be uncomfortable for friends and family to ask you about your progress toward your goal. If you establish a regular nag schedule, friends will be more likely to ask about your progress and offer support. You can even nag yourself with a strategically placed note on your bathroom mirror or other visible spot. Remind yourself about the reasons you want this goal. A daily reminder or routine will reaffirm your commitment to reaching your goal.

Other Good Advice

This article is not intended to be a comprehensive list of everything you need to know about setting and achieving New Year’s Resolutions. I really just wanted to focus on a few things that are most important and typically overlooked. However, I’d be remiss not to mention some of the other important tips that can be very helpful. So here’s a quick list of a few other things you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure your goals are realistic and be specific about what you want to achieve
  • Make sure your goal is measurable and track your progress
  • Write down your goals
  • Set short and medium term milestones you can celebrate along the way
  • Anticipate likely setbacks and have a plan for coping with them
  • Reward yourself along the way

Not Just for New Year’s, For Life

Remember, goals are a process, not a one-time effort. They are a chance to change the way you live. Start setting your goals today because one thing is for certain: next year won’t be any better unless you do something to make it better.

Please feel free to share your thoughts below! I’d love to hear from you!

Happy New Year!

Jeff Griswold

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Quiz: Test Your Knowledge on Weight Control

Neww research regarding weight control and the brain reminded me of an article I wrote a few years back that included a quiz on that very topic. The quiz had 4 questions and even offered hints to the answers. The questions (and the hints) were:

  • Why do 98% of weight loss efforts fail? (hint: you’re not a salmon)
  • Whose fault is it if you are overweight? (hint: it’s not you)
  • Is it even possible to lose weight permanently? (hint: not the way you think)
  • Why are your ears the key to successful weight loss? (hint: is has nothing to do with dieting)

I’ll get to the answers to the quiz in just a minute, but first a few comments on the recent research.

If you would like to lose weight but have struggled, you know how challenging it can be. It can feel like the deck is stacked against you and all the forces of the universe are lined up to resist your progress. Well, new research reveals that there are indeed a lot of forces working against you.

New research reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found evidence of physical changes in the brain in people who are obese. The changes are specifically in the area of the brain that controls appetite and metabolism. The implication is that your mind has a “natural set-point” for body weight and that set-point can change. Therefore, overweight or obese people may find that there are physiological mechanisms that will try to “defend an elevated body weight” even after the person has adopted healthy lifestyle changes.

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine recently also demonstrated that in people who lose weight there are hormone level changes that increase appetite making it more difficult to maintain improved dietary habits.

While it’s no surprise that losing weight is an uphill battle, the new research is clarifying the challenges that need to be overcome. The good news is that this research demonstrates that your weight and metabolism are NOT pre-determined at birth or even during childhood. Your natural “set-point” can change and the key to that set point is in your mind! You just need the right approach to make the right changes in your mind.

Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight, here’s some advice that might help:

– Don’t get discouraged. If you have setbacks, that’s normal. Give yourself a break. Losing weight is a challenge, but it’s a life-long change so focus on the process, not the destination.

– Get the support and encouragement you need – from other people and from yourself, too!

– Learn more by reading the article “Winning the Mental Game of Weight Control

Now, on to the answers to the quiz:

Q. Why do 98% of weight loss efforts fail?

A. Because your current weight is exactly where your mind and body want it to be. Yes, that’s right. You are already at the exact weight for which your mind and body are programmed. Any efforts to change your weight are like trying to swim upstream. Salmon are great at swimming against the current – people are not. Sure, with a lot of work you can make some progress, but as soon as you relax, you quickly lose any gains you may have achieved. How many times have you said, “It takes me a month to lose 5 pounds…and two days to gain it right back?”?

But what if you could change the direction of the current? What if the water flowed in the direction you wanted to go? Suddenly the stream would carry you effortlessly to your goal. Losing weight would be as easy as floating down a stream. The progress that used to take so much work is now just a matter of time. It becomes quick and easy.

You are probably thinking, “OK, my weight may be where my mind and body want it to be, but it’s not where I want it to be!” You also may be thinking “How do I change the direction of the stream and achieve permanent weight loss effortlessly? What will help me lose weight?” Keep reading.

Q. Whose fault is it if you are overweight?

A. If you’re overweight, it’s not your fault. It’s nobody’s fault because there is no ‘fault’. Your weight and everything about you is simply the result of combining millions of inputs including genetics, physical environment, family environment, emotions, friends, events, culture, etc. This unique combination of ingredients and influences made you exactly the way you are: perfect and deserving of love no matter what you look like.

At this point most people will say, “That’s all well and good, but I’d like to look better and be healthier. Is there anything I can do to help me lose weight?”

The good news is that you can control your weight. You don’t have to accept your current situation. You can overcome whatever influences have affected your weight in the past and define how your body is going to look from now on. You can change the “Direction of the stream” and let it sweep you quickly toward becoming a thinner, healthier, and more attractive person. Read on.

Q. Is it even possible to lose weight permanently?

A. Yes, it is possible!  But not through diets or pills. Permanent weight loss means achieving your target weight and keeping it there the rest of your life. Diets and pills may help you lose some weight in the short run. But remember, the behavior you adopt to reach your ideal weight will have to be maintained in order to keep the weight off (remember the stream?)  So before you try to lose weight through special diets or pills, you have to ask yourself a few questions.

–          Do you really think you can eat just meal replacement bars the rest of your life?

–          Are you really going to drink that shake every morning for the rest of your life?

–          Do you really think you want to feel deprived for the rest of your life?

–          Do you want to be taking those pills for the rest of your life?

Q. Why are your ears the key to successful weight loss?

A. Remember your question, “How do I change the direction of the stream?” The answer is “Through your ears!”  The key is not deprivation, it’s about winning the mental game of weight control and you achieve that by listening. (Learn more about what’s so great about audio.) Virtually every world-class athlete and coach will tell you that the mind is the most important part of every sport. Well, guess what? The mind is also the most important part of weight control. Here’s why. Every thought we have produces electro-chemical changes in our body. Our thoughts influence our metabolism as well as our eating habits, our attitude toward exercise, our self-image and our cravings.

Actually, many of our thoughts didn’t even originate with us. We were programmed with them in childhood. In a sense we were hypnotized to believe certain things about ourselves that eventually became our reality.

But here’s the good news! One of the greatest discoveries in the past century is that we can change our inner-image and in doing so we can automatically change our lives for the better. We can neutralize past negative programming and replace it with positive thoughts, images and feelings.

The key, therefore, is having the right tools to help you change your inner mind. Among the best tools are audio programs, hypnosis, personalized therapy, and ”immersion camps” that control your diet, activities, and provide emotional support for a period of time to help you establish new habits.

Our special collection titled “Your Complete Success Weight Loss Program” is an excellent tool which will certainly help you begin to win the mental game of weight control. And right now, for a limited time, it’s available at a very special price. Start today!